“Horrible experience. Staff was unpleasant. No food...”
I have been to Aiyara in the past and have had a positive experience so my friend and I decided to go there for lunch today, Friday, 9/2/11. I have only ordered off of the menu in the past. My friend arrived at 12:15pm. She got a table. She was never offered anything to drink or even water. I arrived at 12:30pm. We sat at our table for another 15 minutes while the waitress ignored us. We tried waving to her, saying "miss", and the gentleman at the table across from us finally waved her down. We asked to switch to a booth in the hopes of getting the more friendly waitress. However, our waitress was too busy seating a table for 5 and getting them water while completely ignoring us. We moved to the booth. Unfortunately, we were stuck with the grumpy server still.
We planned to order off the lunch menu. At this point, we had received nothing not even water and my friend had been there over a half hour. She finally came over. My friend indicated that we were "kind of in a hurry" ( only because we had been there almost a half hour without service). We planned to order off of the lunch menu. The server indicated that the kitchen had a stack of receipts "to the floor" and that they probably wouldn't see our ticket for at least 20 minutes. She suggested we eat off of the buffet. We agreed. We ordered 2 red wines. My friend wanted a pot of jasmine tea with two cups but the lady said that the pots were individual and we couldn't share the tea.
The server returns with two red wines. Mine is dripping. Thank goodness I had my napkin in my lap because the red wine dripped all over my napkin and on the table. She returns with a pot shaped like an elephant and a small tea cup. Easily enough tea for two people.
We got to the buffet. There were two egg rolls and two wanton like pieces of food. All the rest of the food was empty. I grabbed the last four items. My friend and I got coconut soup ( there was enough chicken for one bowl of soup) and figured they will probably have the food restocked after we eat our soup and egg rolls.
At 1:10 we went to back to the buffet. There was no food on the buffet. There were no plates. Meanwhile, the table for 5 was eating their ordered meals off of the menu. We asked the server is she was bringing plates. Three of us stood in front of the buffet and waited for food to come. It took another 10 minutes.
After my friend cornered the server at the swing door to the kitchen, the server said that she would give one of the buffets for free. Finally we got to eat. The drunken noodles were way over spiced very difficult to eat. The pad thai had very little meat in it. The cashew chicken was all onions lacking both meat and cashews. It was disappointing. I ate an egg roll and pulled what felt like a piece of wiry plastic out of my mouth. I showed it to the server and she said it was a Korean noodle. It must have been a uncooked Korean noodle because it was tough and stuck to the outside of the egg roll.
At this time I requested water because the spice from the drunken noodles was unbearable. Water was never offered to us. She did bring us water.
We also requested the bill. When the bill arrived. The full price $39 was stated. It was also after 2pm. We were given no discount for the horrible service or the lack of food on the buffet. My friend and I decided to give her no tip. My friend wrote on the bill the she was a regular customer with her family and that she was very disappointed. My friend was even there when the restaurant was blessed on opening day a couple of years ago!
My friend wanted to explain herself to the servers. The server said, "well we only have 2 servers and 2 people in the kitchen if you want faster service come on a Tuesday. You can see how busy we are." My friend walked out. I told her to let it go. I told her I was a regular writer on TripAdvisor and would write about my experience. After my friend and I left the restaurant, my friend called me and said she called the restaurant and asked to speak with the owner. They told her to come back at 5pm.
FOLLOW-UP: My friend went back at 5pm. One of the servers was the owner. Her husband is the other half owner. She refunded money. She explained they were understaffed. The owner said they are planning on hiring more people on Friday. She said they are looking at getting rid of the buffet on Friday. The owner stressed that she really didn't want to lose my friend as a customer. Bigger picture. If my friend hadn't been so persistent, she wouldn't have had this resolution. I am not left with any warm fuzzies after this experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.